The sliding door handle broke on the 2007 Mercedes Sprinter. What actually happened was the returned part inside the door that pulls the door latch operation levers snapped right off behind the handle. Simple to replace you would have thought.
Well it would have been if the captive brass ferrule that accepts the retaining screw in the fixed part of the handle was not corroded and spinning inside the moulding. Sad really as the Mercedes spare part ordered as ‘Handle’ does not include the fixed part of the handle on the front edge of the door. So further parts had to be ordered before we could proceed.
You can start by stripping off the interior trim panel to the door and removing the single torx head screw that holds the plastic handle moulding to the door tinwork to give you some wiggle-factor, then set about drilling out the ‘very hard’ cross torx screw that was spinning in the retained part of the door handle. Once this is free the handle can be withdrawn and the new one fed into the T slots on the door panel.
You will have to hold back the two operating levers inside the door cavity so that the new handle actuating bar slips behind them (they are sprung forward towards the door skin) If you can get an assistant to hold these parts back while you thread through the handle in, this is a great help. Once the handle is in position and fully slid to the rear of the vehicle, the internal levers can be released and the fixed front-edge part of the door handle refitted to hold the whole assembly in place. Test the open and close function of the door then rebuild the interior, not forgetting the holding screw and removing the broken parts from the lower door to prevent rattling.
Use some grease on the new screw into the front edge of the door and consider fitting a rubber grommet if one is not installed to protect this vulnerable thread from the elements.
Test you can remove the forward handle fixing screw before you attempt this job and certainly before ordering parts, this way if the screw is seized then you can order all the handle sections and new screw beforehand.